Hello and welcome to a new installment of Drafting with the Stars! Yes, I wanted to follow this title up by inserting some Friends GIF memes between picks, but I will spare you the horror!

Anyway, draft format not-entirely seven is upon us in its similar-to-draft-format-six-point-oh glory. And by that I mean we are back to two color decks, with splashing a third one not being really easy nor necessary. Also, away with the Strangers, in with the Evangels. Let us begin!

Pack 1 Pick 1

To start things off as usual I look at the upper left card. Scarecrow is a quite good choice, for sure, especially if you are running multiple Twist units that you want to … un-Twist … and then re-Twist. This makes it a better inclusion in some decks more than others, for sure, as the 2/6 statline is far from perfect. However, there are two much better cards in this pack – and if you have been reading previous episodes you should know which ones I am talking about.

Umbren Voidbringer is all you want in a unit – evasion and card advantage. Horn of Plenty is all you want in a support card – in this case, wide support of all your units. The choice between these two is a very close one, despite the fact that these cards play vastly different roles. It usually comes down to personal preference. For me it was the fact that I have drafted a deck with three Horns of Plenty prior to playing this one, which made going for Umbren Voidbringer easier.

You have also got to notice how good this pack is as a whole. Even the worst card here (i.e. Snowmass Jotun) is not a bad inclusion into a deck! You just wish you opened such packs in sealed, am I right?

Caleb’s choice: Umbren Voidbringer

Pack 1 Pick 2

This pack provides us with another choice in another dimension. There is a premium common here – Corrupted Behemoth, but there is also a legendary card, one that … is even playable in some meme decks. The choice you have to make is one based on your reason to be playing this draft in the first place! Are you playing them to build your collection – and even if you already have a playset of Perilous Researches it is still worth eight hundred Shiftstone – or are you playing to have the best deck and win as many games as possible?

For me it is usually all about building my collection, but this time I wanted to win! Also – as an added benefit – I know that someone is going to get a legendary as third pick. You are very welcome!

PS. If you have recently received Perilous Research as pick three in pack one, please let me know in the comments below.

Caleb’s choice: Corrupted Behemoth

Pack 1 Pick 3

The current draft format is very much like going to the roots of Dark Frontier drafts, with two color decks being the preferred option. This means you can go in one of two directions – either try and choose two colors, watching if they are open throughout pack one and being ready to swerve, or delaying your choice until you have a better understanding of which colors should be coming your way and just pick the best cards out there, all the time knowing you will probably end up cutting it down to two colors.

For me it means that I should be looking at Time and Shadow cards and trying to see if they keep coming or if they are being cut off halfway through the pack. For now, Stillweave Shroud and Arcanum Elite look like solid choices, with Shroud’s silence effect being a very good one right now. I am looking at you, new mechanics! Well, maybe not Muster … not yet at least.

Caleb’s choice: Stillweave Shroud

Pack 1 Pick 4

If we wanted to stay on color, there are two choices – Quicksilver Ooze and Amber Coin. Both cards benefit a lot from having a Horn of Plenty in play – and if I had picked Horn as my first card my second color would still be open! I believe both of these cards need support to be good, but Ooze is usually better on its own. There are also other factors to consider. If you are still open, you could go for High Alert, as it is still a very good trick. If you are building up your collection, why not go for the Quake Titan?

Caleb’s choice: Quicksilver Ooze

Pack 1 Pick 5

No Time cards for us here, but there are two good ones in our second color. Fallen Militiaman is much better because of its Shift ability and – if left unchecked – can just grow to board dominating proportions. Stonescar Outfitter, on the other hand, silently buffs all your other troops, making them much more deadly. Both of these play different roles, but in a vacuum I believe that Militiaman is slightly better.

Caleb’s choice: Fallen Militiaman

Pack 1 Pick 6

Oh, Angry Prophet. You were quite decent in Dark Frontier drafts, only to be squashed out of existence with the incursion of Strangers in Trials of Grodov drafts. Now you are back to your old days of glory, and truly ye be worthy of being included in my decks once again!

Caleb’s choice: Angry Prophet

Pack 1 Pick 7

Not a lot of good options, with Ooze still being decent.

Caleb’s choice: Quicksilver Ooze

Pack 1 Pick 8

Razorquill is a much better unit than Angry Prophet and right now is the correct pick. If this was pack four, though, you should first take a look at your power curve and see if maybe you are missing your 2-drops. If yes, go for the Prophet. As I said, right now, though … Quill me up!

Caleb’s choice: Razorquill

Pack 1 Pick 9

Nothing good for us here, with Lurky McLurkinson being a possible last card included in a deck.

Caleb’s choice: Direwood Lurker

Pack 1 Pick 10

While not a perfect card, one of these is still a piece of slow removal in a removal-light format.

Caleb’s choice: Bandit’s Flail

Pack 1 Pick 11

Caleb’s choice: Guns Blazing

Pack 1 Pick 12

Caleb’s choice: Sudden Stampede

Pack 2 Pick 1

Now is the time to party! …or at least to read through the new cards from the future set … that is probably set in the future (Dear editor, please insert dramatic music here. Thank you. -Calebovitsch)

Sacred Seal is a great Lifeforce trigger… next! Brutish Interloper seems quite good, but it has the same problem that plagued Nimble Conscript – it needs a lot of support to be good. Wilderness Refuge is a slow Muster trigger with the Spellcraft effect being slightly beneficial. The whole Evangel cycle is a great piece of design, for sure, and they are the new Strangers … kind of. You have to also remember that they are giving you that one piece of Influence, which makes them technically single-influence units. Reconnaissance is a nifty and tricky finisher, much better than other one-shot Unblockable buffs, for sure. It also works quite devastating with Razorquill, as the unit in question can deal damage to the opponent multiple times in a turn! Gaudy Showman is an okay unit for a very aggressive deck. Last, but not least, Skyhorror Draconus is kind of the Primal equivalent of Valkyrie Accuser – good, but slow and expensive.

Phew. That is a lot of commentary. As far as Xenan cards go, though, not a lot of choices to be made here, with me wanting to try Reconnaissance out being the determining factor.

Caleb’s choice: Reconnaissance

Pack 2 Pick 2

With the Time card gone and only one Shadow card present in this pack, the Xenan choices are non-existent. I am still going for Spitefeeder, though. Cobalt Monument is a nice one, for sure, but we are not in Primal. As for the new cards – Desperate Gambit seems like an okay trick, but giving a unit just one additional health might make it weaker than my initial assessment. Stand Strong is a slow spell, which makes the opponent just want to let the damage pass through or chump block with their weakest unit, making it a 1-for-1 exchange. Greed’s Reward might be better if we see some more Spell Damage enhancers in the next set, but right now it is not worth it.

Caleb’s choice: Spitefeeder

Pack 2 Pick 3

Okay, now there is a choice, and one between some new cards – as I am not a fan of Vile Varmint whatsoever. I know that it can stop any unit, but a 1/1 for four power that can be easily destroyed is not up my alley. Emergencies only. As for the newbies – Mountain Goliath has an interesting design of being a very expensive unit that you want in your hand at the start of the game. Otherwise in topdeck wars, a 4/4 for seven is very lackluster. You need to somehow draw at least two units for this card to be worth something. Sunset Priest is a decently-statted unit with a Summon effect of milling both players for three cards. This might be a good start for once again trying to include mill strategies as fringe options in draft. On its own, though, it still holds its own and can feed your own Void with cards you can later return with Umbren Voidbringer! Synergy win.

Caleb’s choice: Sunset Priest

Pack 2 Pick 4

Makkar’s Bloodwolf is a great anti-aggro card, one that stops most 1- and 2-drops dead in their tracks. Mettle is a weak trick, but be careful not to get wrecked by it! It is bound to happen sooner or later. Grodov Evangel would be a nice inclusion in this deck, with the added influence fixing. Grodov’s Favored, on the other hand, is a whopping huge Giant with an included Silence effect – and that makes a huge difference in mid- and late-game. Just dropping your opponent’s biggest flier out of the sky and being able to block it. As for my choice, I wanted to go with the cheaper unit to fill out the curve.

Caleb’s choice: Grodov Evangel

Pack 2 Pick 5

Faceless One is a great combo with Sunset Priest, but honestly you do not want to be running a lot of 2/1s that cannot block in your deck, unless the synergy is very heavy. Another Sunset Priest it is.

Caleb’s choice: Sunset Priest

Pack 2 Pick 6

Ancient Manual is an interesting design, especially for a common Power card, but in a two color format it is just falling short for me. It would have been great in greed pile 6.5 decks, for sure – the ultimate Token! Torture is not usually removal, but it can turn off many a unit and it makes Exalted units much worse. Interesting fact – if Torture drops a unit’s attack value below zero, it still counts as zero for the purpose of making Blurred Stygimoloch cheaper. The more you know…

On a side note – if you are afraid of spiders, does that make you afraid of Arachnophobia as well, or am I just incepting my self? Inceptioning? You know, the movie reference. Cut!

Caleb’s choice: Torture

Pack 2 Pick 7

Chant to Grodov looks interesting, but at this moment I do not think I will get many good opportunities to play this card to its fullest potential. Looks like a better (?) version of Tinker to me, and I did not hold Tinker in high regard. Bloodwolf, on the other hand, is a great pick-up.

Caleb’s choice: Makkar’s Bloodwolf

Pack 2 Pick 8

Nothing for me here, which is a good moment to just pick a card from the new set. Uncommon, please.

Caleb’s choice: Numbing Cold

Pack 2 Pick 9

I do not think playing Ancient Manual in a two color deck is necessary.

Caleb’s choice: Ancient Manual

Pack 2 Pick 10

Scheme is a nice last-card addition to a deck, especially if you are relying on bombs you have drafted. Looking through four cards is a lot!

Caleb’s choice: Scheme

Pack 2 Pick 11

Caleb’s choice: Greed’s Reward

Pack 2 Pick 12

I wonder if this card, combined with Sunset Priests and some other cards from the new set will allow mill strategies to work in draft…

Caleb’s choice: Malaise

Pack 3 Pick 1

New card time! Proselytize is a compromise between Assembly Line and Manufacture – and getting up to four 1/1s from one card can prove beneficial in some strategies, for sure. Not here, though. Longtail Cavalry looks very overcosted for a 2/1 flier, but the Exalted tag means the Flying is being later gifted to another unit – and that is a game-changer. Just be wary of silences. Prancing Gryffyn is a Humbug that can share its Flight with someone else for a turn, and that is a very interesting and honestly quite good effect. Especially if you have a Mastery unit that needs to get its work done. Unfortunately none of the new Xenan cards come any close to Living Example, which is a living example of a great 2-drop.

Caleb’s choice: Living Example

Pack 3 Pick 2

Ooh boy! This is the pick that is going to determine the rest of the draft – no jokes here. With two Sunset Priests, a Spitefeeder and a Malaise in tow, grabbing a Sadistic Glee – with the option of getting him back via Umbren Voidbringer and searching for him via Scheme – is the core mill volume you are looking for! This – alongside Mournful Deathcap – is the motor of a successful mill deck in draft (if there is such a thing). On the other hand we got here a Dread Hellkite! And it’s shiny!! A 4/3 Deadly flier for four that makes an enemy unit not be able to block. The fact that this one cannot block either usually makes no difference. Dragons were not meant to block.

If I were to go for the mill route, Sadistic Glee is the correct choice here. On the other hand, the title of this article might have already suggested that my actual pick was…

Caleb’s choice: Dread Hellkite

Pack 3 Pick 3

Cult Recruiter is the Time trick everybody should be looking out for. Just do not attack with your 2/2s if you cannot back them up and your opponent has four power open. Also, if you have already buffed the Recruiter by e.g. having a Horn of Plenty in play, or playing a Chant to Grodov previously, it can trigger its mastery right on the spot. On the other hand we have Fervent Siphoner, a 1/2 Exalted Shadow Cultist for two power that gets plus one attack until end of turn for each card that is discarded – by any player. Please remember that milling in this game is classified as discarding from the top of the deck. This means that if you follow this card up with a Sunset Priest on turn three, you can attack with a 7/2 unit on turn three. Not to shabby! Okay, let us go for this potentially heartbreaking play.

Caleb’s choice: Fervent Siphoner

Pack 3 Pick 4

There are no choices to be made here, I am just grabbing the only playable card. As for the question of whether to play this one or not – remember that the opponent draws a card first. In a very aggressive deck – or a mill deck, for that matter – this is actually a double benefit.

Caleb’s choice: Amethyst Waystone

Pack 3 Pick 5

Amethyst Monument is a great card, as playing a 4/4 Lifestealing Puma in your power slot is a nice option. There is also an Ardent Convert here, and while this unit is better than your average 1-drop, it is overshadowed by a Justice 1-drop with Exalted and Lifesteal. Why, Direwolf? Why?

Caleb’s choice: Amethyst Monument

Pack 3 Pick 6

I know that I did not pick Sadistic Glee a while back, but the Priest still synergizes with the other Cultist. I also might have picked up a second Reconnaissance, but decided not to in the end.

Caleb’s choice: Sunset Priest

Pack 3 Pick 7

Seek Power is not as good in this format as it was in the previous one, but it is still a card I am glad to play in almost any deck and any format. Unless it used to be something else before the opponent played a Royal Decree on me…

Caleb’s choice: Seek Power

Pack 3 Pick 8

Huh, now this is an interesting choice. On the one hand we have an Evangel with Charge, on the other one with Quickdraw. One helps with Shadow influence, the other with Time. In my opinion this choice should come down to the color more than the ability, and with me wanting to play a Living Example on turn two, I turn to the Time fixing one.

Caleb’s choice: Grodov Evangel

Pack 3 Pick 9

I know, not a mill deck, but still…

Caleb’s choice: Malaise

Pack 3 Pick 10

Caleb’s choice: Daze

Pack 3 Pick 11

Caleb’s choice: Linrei Evangel

Pack 3 Pick 12

Huh, a third Malaise. And three Sunset Priests. How many cards can I mill, again?

Caleb’s choice: Malaise

Pack 4 Pick 1

We are back to the Dark Frontier and we have another choice to make. I mean, we can discount Darkweave Enchantress, although she is better now than she was in the previous format. The choice is still between Devotee of the Sands and Omnivorous Vorlunk. With two Time Evangels playing the Vorlunk should be slightly easier. Also, I do not have removal here, which makes Vorlunk a more premium choice.

Caleb’s choice: Omnivorous Vorlunk

Pack 4 Pick 2

This deck unfortunately cannot support a Bloodnurse, although if I made other choices in previous picks, who knows… I could go for two hundred shiftstone aka Clodagh, but honestly Blink is a solid choice at this point. You also have to remember that it takes away the Exalted weapons, which actually makes all bounce effects much better now.

Caleb’s choice: Blink

Pack 4 Pick 3

Another Fallen Militiaman is waiting between the realms and growing, feeding on the screams of countless victims being traded by unseen forces.

Caleb’s choice: Fallen Militiaman

Pack 4 Pick 4

Corrupted Behemoth is the best Time common unit – and an easy pick here.

Caleb’s choice: Corrupted Behemoth

Pack 4 Pick 5

I believe Displaced Oryctodon is a better unit than Sauropod Crasher – especially now with all the Strangers gone. On the other hand, I cannot shake the feeling that I might be able to mill some opponents … after all, Vicious Rumors technically, usually does not cost you a card, right?

Caleb’s choice: Vicious Rumors

Pack 4 Pick 6

Nothing to pick up here but ten shiftstone.

Caleb’s choice: Re-read

Pack 4 Pick 7

A Razorquill this late is a sight for sore eyes. Fills my curve and my unit quota. I mean, I would rather get an Eviscerate now, but beggars cannot be choosers.

Caleb’s choice: Razorquill

Pack 4 Pick 8

Another 2-drop is nice for the power curve.

Caleb’s choice: Angry Prophet

Pack 4 Pick 9

One of these is worth more shiftstone than the others.

Caleb’s choice: Dinomancy Enthusiast

Pack 4 Pick 10

A third Razorquill! Now I wish I had picked that second Reconnaissance!

Caleb’s choice: Razorquill

Pack 4 Pick 11

Huh, I wonder if I will need to play this card…

Caleb’s choice: Mute

Pack 4 Pick 12

Caleb’s choice: Fend Off

Draft Pool

This deck is certainly lacking removal – that was my first takeaway after I took a look at this pool of cards. I tend to try not to run more than twenty units and would usually rather play bad and mediocre tricks over additional units. Also, what to we do about the mill?

We have here a Spitefeeder, three Sunset Priests, a Vicious Rumors and three Malaise, with Scheme, Amethyst Monument and Umbren Voidbringer as potential support cards for this strategy. That is … not a lot. If I had picked up that Sadistic Glee, though, I think I would cave in and go this route, but as it stands I cannot. I mean, Sunset Priests are okay anyway, as they are a great follow-up to Fervent Siphoner and just good 3/3 bodies for three power. On the other hand, the rest should go. Goodbye, Spitefeeder, Vicious Rumors and three copies of Malaise.

Now, given what I said in the first paragraph I would like to leave all the attachments and spells – yes, even Mute – as I will need to use them wisely to get my units through the opposing forces. This means I need to cut two or three more units – depending on whether I want to be running seventeen or eighteen power here. With my curve topping at five, though – yes, seventeen it is. Given that I want to keep all my 2-drops, it is actually the unsupported Oozes who get the axe. Obviously this splits them into further Oozes and now they are of value to me, but alas, it is too late as I automatically added power and submitted the decklist.

Draft Deck

Draft Summary

This deck surprised me – to say the least. And this time even in a good way! I thought it was mediocre at best and lo and behold, it was actually went with seven wins and two losses. The power curve really clicked and I was even able to play the Siphoner – Sunset combo at least twice that I remember. At one time the opponent even blocked my 7/2 and turned the Sunset Priest into a 10/5! On turn three! Do I need to add that that game did not last long?

Now, the deck was playing some sub-optimal cards, for sure. It needed more removal – some removal, in fact – but the ability to get a good stream of units coming in on curve was all that it took usually. Remember, try to stay in two colors with at least five 2-drops and you should be okay.

Now once again I have some homework for you, dear reader! Try and go through these picks once again. What colors would you end up with and why? Would you go for Sadistic Glee and achieve the mill dream I opted not to go for? Please make the decklist on eternalwarcry.com and link it in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this lengthy story and that I will see you on one of my streams!

As always, you can usually find me on TwitchDiscord and Twitter.

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